VRepresentatives of the SPD, Greens and FDP presented their coalition agreement on Wednesday afternoon in Berlin. The most important message, said SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz at the beginning of the press conference: “The traffic light is on.” It is “not about a policy of the lowest common denominator”. As soon as they arrived, the party representatives around Scholz, the Greens bosses Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck as well as FDP boss Christian Lindner demonstrated unity and entered the building together.
The parties are united in “belief in progress”. The aim is to become a “pioneer” in climate protection, but also to promote cutting-edge technology. Raise the minimum wage to 12 euros in one step, stimulate housing construction and introduce basic child benefits.
Regarding the negotiations with the Greens and the FDP, Scholz said that they had worked “closely, intensively, sometimes passionately, but above all trustingly” with one another. The discussions were “constructive and always solution-oriented”.
Greens co-leader Robert Habeck emphasized the goals of the alliance in terms of climate protection. “We are on the 1.5-degree path with this coalition agreement,” said Habeck. The traffic light parties wanted to show “the compatibility of prosperity and climate protection”. Instead of always setting new climate protection goals, the decision was made to agree on specific measures.
Habeck spoke of a “new story that we can write together”. It was “sometimes quite exhausting”. “We took on a lot,” said Habeck. “But we will be a government that also expects something from other people, so we must also expect something from ourselves.” The traffic light’s promise is “a learning policy, a learning Germany”.
Lindner gives points wins to the SPD and the Greens
FDP leader Christian Lindner praised the discretion of the talks as “exceptional”. Sometimes you have struggled for individual sentences for hours. “Social Democrats and Greens can be proud of what they negotiated in the coalition agreement,” said Lindner. He was confident that a party congress of the SPD and a membership decision by the Greens would approve the coalition agreement. Even as the FDP you will make “your contribution to the success” of the coalition.
The new federal government will continue to be an advocate for solid finances, said the FDP leader. Private know-how and private capital should be unleashed to address the challenges of decarbonization and digitization. “We will digitize this state,” said Lindner. Social liberalization and the commitment to education and social advancement opportunities are further concerns.
Basically, the coalition is said to be stuck “in a deep and not yet overcome health crisis”. He asked that “also personal contacts” should be restricted “to what is necessary”. “The government’s state crisis management will change – it will be optimized, but it will not be less consistent,” said Lindner. In addition to Corona, there are also “existing challenges that we have to address”, including climate protection or the aging of society. These are “great tasks that we face together”.
“Saskia, Annalena’s turn” – “Is that so?”
After Lindner, SPD leader Saskia Esken started her statement – and was promptly interrupted. “Saskia, Annalena’s turn” – “Is that so?” Yes, it was like that.
Greens co-leader Annalena Baerbock sees the coalition agreement as an answer to the climate crisis as the “greatest challenge of our time”. The future coalition partners have “paved the way for us as one of the largest industrial nations in the world to become climate-neutral”. This claim runs through all areas of politics, including international cooperation and foreign and security policy.
SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans said he was very certain that the implementation of the coalition agreement would do Germany good. You have to get faster, you need “a new departure”, not only ecologically, “but also socio-politically”. He also emphasized that the three parties were not of the same opinion everywhere. But one “did not block oneself, but enriched oneself”. “It is primarily about investing – privately, but also publicly.” One has to do “not only with securing the future”, but “also with the present”.
Finally, Esken also praised the familiarity during the negotiations. You not only learned a lot about the other two parties, but also “about ourselves” in the struggle for your own positions. You need “a lot of courage” for “the change” in which Germany and the world are.
Corona expert group in the Chancellery
Scholz said before the statements about the coalition agreement on the pandemic: “Corona has still not been defeated – unfortunately”. The situation is still serious. The decisive factor is the consistent use of 2G or 2G Plus in public spaces. There are also further measures. A permanent federal-state crisis team would be set up to monitor the situation and check the implementation of resolutions. In addition, an expert group is to be set up in the Chancellery, which should also include virologists, epidemiologists and sociologists.
The new government also wants to “massively” advance the vaccination campaign, sometimes through mobile teams, including members of the armed forces. The protection of vulnerable groups must be improved. A bonus payment is planned for nursing staff – one billion euros should initially be available for this. “Together we have it in our hands to break this bad fourth wave,” concluded Scholz.
Scholz later evaded a question from a Dutch reporter about the Cum-Ex scandal in the question and answer session. A request was not allowed either.
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“Saskia, Annalena’s turn”: Ampel presents coalition agreement in Berlin – WELT